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Sneaky Devaluation! This Amex Platinum Benefit Loses Some Flexibility

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Amex Platinum Hotel Credit

Amex Platinum Hotel Credit

Many Amex fans, myself included, have enjoyed the ride recently.  We’ve had a few solid months of +5 referral bonuses, ongoing no lifetime language offers, and some fresh upgrade possibilities, as well.  Outstanding elevated welcome offers seem to feel normal now, too.  But recently, I noticed Amex implemented something sneaky.  Based on my experience, the Amex Platinum Hotel Credit has devalued.  Here’s what I discovered and why Platinum cardholders should care.

Hmm, That’s Weird

I’ve liked using the Amex Platinum Hotel Credit, $200 back annually on a Fine Hotels and Resorts or Hotel Collection stay (two night minimimum for HC), since its inception a few years ago.  Focusing exclusively on FHR stays, I’ve grown to love the useful benefits without going significantly out of pocket.  Not coincidentally, I like to plan these stays well in advance.

For the past few months, I’ve checked Amex Travel for FHR booking opportunities, including for 2024 stays.  But 2024 dates have been grayed out and unavailable to book.  Initially, I assessed that it was just a bit too early to book, and things would open up as we progressed in 2023.  Nonetheless, in previous years, I recall future year bookings were available  earlier.  Late last month, I got tired of waiting.

I chatted with an agent on the Amex Travel site.  Long story short, the agent claimed Fine Hotels and Resorts rates for 2024 won’t be bookable until November 2023.  Here’s a bit more from our conversation.

The Chat

Everything started out nice enough with the chat agent.  But she wasted no time telling me the bad news:

Amex Platinum Hotel Credit

Amex Platinum Hotel Credit

I was taken aback a bit by that initial response, essentially telling me to wait until November for 2024 reservations.  But the agent continued:

That’s a good chunk to chew on.  I must say I admired the agent getting so into the weeds.  These nuances are where many active hobbyists live.  I wanted more clarification, and I also took this as an optimal opportunity to ask:

The agent said a lot there, and it seems like bad news.  In my view, this jargon is indicative of Amex’s issues managing existing reservations and subsequent changes.  It seems Amex is encouraging cardholders into booking (e.g. using the credit) and staying within the same calendar year.

At this point, I wanted to drill down a bit more.  I didn’t want to falsely assume anything.  Was the agent really meaning what I think she said?  I had an engaged chat agent here, and my curiosity continued.

The agent backed off a bit above, alluding to the chance that some 2024 rates for certain properties may be available earlier in 2023.  I wanted to make one last statement for the record, as if doing so mattered.  Some may read this as me complaining, while I consider it clarity.  Perhaps both can be true.

Amex Platinum Hotel Credit

Amex Platinum Hotel Credit

I’d spent plenty of time on this, and I wasn’t looking to get in a prolonged search of individual properties with an agent.  I simply thanked the agent for their help and ended the chat.

Why Platinum Cardholders Should Care

First, I’m providing a friendly reminder that the annual $200 Amex Platinum Hotel Credit is based on the calendar year.  Attentive cardholders can obtain this credit twice within the same cardmember year and without paying a second year annual fee.  For the second credit use closer to the year two annual fee (when many will consider cancelling their account), cardholders will have less flexibility to book into the future.

Beyond that, travel planners hoping to line up other reservations, like airline or activities, won’t be able to book FHR reservations on the same timeline.  Everything becomes more complicated.

And perhaps that’s what Amex wants.  Make the process more convoluted to the point where cardholders forfeit a credit, whether it’s based on misunderstanding, limited flexibility, or other general user-unfriendliness.

Not In The Terms and Conditions

Something I’d also like to note is that I couldn’t find this wrinkle in any of the Amex Platinum Hotel Credit terms and conditions.  Nowhere does it state that the annual credit must be used on a stay within the same calendar year it was booked.  Instead, it seems Amex has opted for a more opaque strategy for this devaluation.  Simply making it tougher to book in future years may be effective enough to create more breakage of this benefit.  Meanwhile, Amex will continue boldly advertising the Amex Platinum Hotel Credit, with the $695 annual fee at the bottom and in a smaller font size.

Amex Platinum Hotel Credit
It’ll be a bit tougher to use your Amex Platinum Hotel Credit at properties like Encore in Vegas.


Of course, this is just a single conversation I had with one particular agent.  They gave me their understanding, and the reality may be something different.  That’s partly why I didn’t write about this a few weeks ago in May upon discovery.  I wanted to see if 2024 dates would come available in June.  Alas, no.  But I’m still hopeful for some developments prior to November, while also knowing I must be prepared for the worst.  Amex, like other card issuers, is making it tougher for cardholders to maximize benefits.  Those truly looking to do so must adapt and overcome.

How has your experience been using the Amex Platinum Hotel Credit?  Does this development change how you’ll look at using it in the future?

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Benjy Harmon
Benjy Harmon
Benjy focuses on the intersection of points, travel, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently roams throughout the USA close to expense-free. Benjy enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. My $100 room credit in Monaco,France last November turned out to be 80Euros??? Since the Euro was very low at ???$1.05 at the time but hotel said that was the Amex deal????

  2. What jumped out at me – Amex agents know who you are. There must be notes on your account on their end -!ATTENTION BEN IS A POINTS AND TRAVEL BLOGGER!

  3. Amex making it hard to realize value on their cards? Color me shocked. As with others, I’m bitter about how hard the $200 airline offset is to realize.

    I’m downgrading to green when my AF happens for the Clear benefit offset and Amex Offers.

  4. I actually wonder if that is the real reason. It really should not make much of a difference when you use the benefit. Amex or someone is still paying the $200. For the few people who cancel, they could probably take other measures. American Express has always been a bit slow in getting next year’s FHR rates in there and I think part of that has to do with the negotiation process with the properties, which may even be harder now give current inflation. Remember American Express wants people to use FHR and to not load the rates early enough would just send people who want a reservation for next year to other agents such as Virtuoso, which I am sure they do not want. I am sure this happens many more times than the limited number of people who are trying to move the benefit to next year. In fact, there have been many times I have gone elsewhere because FHR could not make the booking far enough ahead.

  5. I dumped my card years ago never again
    Worse than a shell game and they know travelers already have elite status with free bags etc and limit the credit to free bags and seat assignments not to tickets or first class upgrades
    Chase S Reserve is at least flexible for almost anything
    Amex Mem Rewards partners suck too.
    Imagine redeeming for Delta Miles and paying Amex a fee with such little value in the program as there is to.
    Welcome to Plat privilege lol
    the card for the uniformed buying into the name.
    Granted for some who can use their benefit’s and willing to jump through hoops it may be worth it
    That’s just the beginning of this shady company

  6. I was recently happy to see a $125 property f&b credit on a booking (rather than the usual $100), I personally hadn’t seen that before!

  7. I’ve encountered this prior to covid when trying to book an international trip for the following year. I don’t believe this is new.


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